American chestnut tree

Asked June 1, 2017, 1:49 PM EDT

We have an American chestnut tree ...( 30+ years old ) wondering if there is anyone we should contact for research. Know that they are rare to grow this old and have not been killed by blithe.. Would love to help find a cure for these amazing trees!

Washtenaw County Michigan trees and shrubs chestnut

1 Response

Thank you for checking with us. Some American Chestnuts in the Lower Michigan that have regenerated from old stumps have so far survived. Much of the ability to survive is more commonly due to the small numbers of these trees, which means trees may survive for years since there is less probability for the disease to spread by insect and animals. These trees have not evolved to be resistant since that would require a change in the genes which does not happen when trees regenerate from original tree that had died. Researchers are working with a parasitic fungus that can protect trees from disease. Basically they are using the resistant gene of Asian species to transfer into American Chestnut. See the following article: http://www.apsnet.org/publications/apsnetfeatures/Pages/ChestnutBlightDisease.aspx

It appears that they are still looking for surviving chestnuts and you may be able to help out with this. The research is in New York through the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project at: http://www.esf.edu/chestnut/